&e7's Chilli Care InstructionsThese plants are incredibly easy to look after. There are only really two things that you need to remember in order to keep them alive.
- Water them regularly.
- Keep them in a well-lit place.
WateringWater the soil two or three times a week until the soil is damp, not wet. If the weather is hot and dry, then you may well need to water them every day.
If you're going away for the weekend, then it's ok to give them a good drenching, they don't seem to mind over watering from time to time. You can stand the pot in a bowl of water if you need to go away for longer periods of time.
Over watering on a regular basis can cause the roots to rot (which is bad).
The pot that you have will have drainage holes in it, so make sure you stand it in a saucer or something when watering, or it'll go everywhere.
FeedingThis really isn't essential, but if you give them a pinch or two of any good plant food once a week you'll get MUCH better results. If you find that the leaves are looking brown or 'burned' at the tips, that's a sign that the plant could do with some food.
Re-PottingYour chilli plant will grow to about 18 inches to 2 feet within about 2 months. As it grows it will need a bigger pot so that the roots can extend - if the roots can extend, the plant can grow (the reverse of the Bonsai principle!).
You'll only need to re-pot the plant once, and this can be done any time from now until the plant is about 6-8 inches tall.
I used to use ice-cream tubs to grow my chilli plants in, but something deeper would be better. If you pop down to any garden centre, Homebase, (Woolworths?) and pick up a 6 inch pot (or larger if you like) that should do.
I find that putting a hand-full of broken polystyrene at the bottom of the pot helps drainage. This is essential if your new pot does not have drainage holes in it; water pools at the bottom of the pot and rots the roots.
So, here's how you do it.
- Have the following to hand:
- Chilli plant
- 6" pot
- newspaper on table (could get messy!),
- Couple of handfuls of broken polystyrene.
- Water (with plant food if you like)
- Compost. Any multi-purpose compost will do, or soil if you like, but compost will be sterile and less messy!
Growing Chillies(The whole POINT really)
Easy, just sit back and relax. Keep the plant by a sunny window and watch the little white flowers appear. After a week or two, the flowers will wilt and die - a lovely chilli will grow from this.
The chillies will take a couple of weeks to grow and can be left on the plant for as long as you like (they're even good when they start to shrivel a little). Eventually, they will go red, but they can still be eaten when green.
If your plant has a lot of fruit on the go, then it's probably a good idea to feed it. You can pick off flowers to help transfer more energy to the growing chillies if you like.
If you find you have a huge glut of chillies, then they can be frozen and used later.